“Umm…” By the Students of A.M. Winn Elementary School
April 3rd, 2018 -the day had finally arrived for the students of A.M. Winn Elementary School. It was the day of their book release, and as soon as the doors opened the students came rushing in to see a physical copy of their very own book! Justin Self, Director of Development at 916 Ink was taking pictures of the students with his camera and let the students take pictures of each other. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves. Not a nervous child in sight! The energy in the room was unbelievable, every student was exuding happiness and they were ready to share their stories and poems. Maribella Smith, the program’s Wordslinger, kicked off the evening by announcing the authors as well as the inspirators, Ian Hadley, Executive Director of 916 Ink, and Michelle Brandabur, a local high school student who assisted these students in their writing process.
The first brave soul was Devin Jones reading Mega Brain found on page 17. Mega Brain is about a smart child who teaches college courses.Next was Joshua Russell reading, Demon Death the Kid, page 42. Demon Death the Kid is about a monster that has Doritos for hair, drinking sewage water turned him evil and now he’s coming to destroy Earth. Dylan Jones was next on stage, he read his story called, The Werewolf. It is about a crazy cool werewolf who ate a lot, has a big uvula and goes on amazing adventures. Dylan walked off the stage looking proud of himself, suddenly, he did a dab dance move, which caused the audience to erupt into laughter! Maribella stepped in to read Zion Russell’s story titled, The Bummer Summer. The Bummer Summer tells us the story of a blonde, 16-year-old girl who is stalked by a grouchy old man. Zion also walked off the stage dabbing! Victoria Gutierrez read her story, Chapter One: July 3rd, page 64. Victoria’s story is about two bickering sisters who transfer schools and make the school a better and brighter place. Benjamin Rosas Lurz read, Detective Johnathan and the Egg Thief, page 31. As he walked on stage a little girl yelled “That’s my brother!” Detective Johnathan and the Egg Thief is about a dad who gets injured and robbed, so he calls Detective Johnathan to solve the crime. Kaylee "Bella" Crane read her poem called Rains Violet on page 50. Rains Violet is about a girl named Periwinkle, who isolated herself to "play in fields of violets and dance in the rain." Shawn Kraus was up next and read his story titled Hero Family on page 58. Hero Family is the tale of a family of superheroes who fight robots! Jason Gandeza came on to the stage and read his piece called The Magic Joystick, found on page 23. The Magic Joystick takes us on an adventure with two best friends who get stuck in a video game, but each level they get to increases in difficulty. Kailoni Jones St. Hill read The Horrible Evil Red Moon, page 46, which is about a red moon that has demons come out of it. The main character's neighbor gets possessed, and she finds out she's a witch! Maribella read Analiese Dunlap's story called Orange Sherbert, on page 3. It's about her love for the ice cream flavor. Maribella read Johnathan Everett's story called Chapter One, on page 38. It was about a boy named Carter who goes on an insane journey in another dimension where he fights demons with his friends and they have fire and wind powers!
A duo was next! Johnathan Everett and Jason Gandeza had a story called The Magical Boys, page 27, about kids with powers who save the world. Magil Bowens couldn’t attend but wanted their story read. Maribella read their story called The King, page 55. The King is about a greedy king who gets caught in a war with Vikings. Jaylen Saldivar also couldn’t attend, so Maribella read their story titled The Arrow Eye, page 34. The Arrow Eye takes place in a world that’s immersed in a war called The Cabin War, and the journey of a boy named Daniel who is trying to survive the war. The last story was titled A Pig, written by Cassandra Ramirez, on page 6, and it tells us the story of a lonely pig who finds another pig who become very close. Every single student author had amazing reactions from the audience, bursts of laughter, and roaring applause!
That concluded the stories of the student authors, and Nikki Cordoza, Director of Programming for 916 Ink, closed the night by giving posters signed by the student authors to Maribella and two of A.M. Winn’s staff members, Unique and Nisha. “Umm…” is a book filled with some of the most creative stories. Congratulations A.M. Winn Elementary School and thank you for sharing these stories with us!
A special thank you to our funders, The Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation, The City of Sacramento, The County of Sacramento, Sacramento 365, the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commissions’ Cultural Art Awards Program, and the City of Rancho Cordova Community Enhancement Fund! With your support this night full of creativity was made possible.